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Character Build: The Glowing One (FO4)

Tags: #Motty Build  #Character Build Enhanced  #Fallout 4 Character Build 
  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    Let me state up front, this build is nuanced, not over-powered and requires a moderate commitment to role-play. My goal was to explore the use of radiation in all its many wasteland forms. For fans of previous Fallout offerings, this should toggle memories of characters like “Sun of Atom” and “Jason Bright".

    But I am new to Fallout. And maybe, like me, you were surprised at how little the environmental radiation affected your first play through? It’s true that outside of the Glowing Sea and a few reactor sequences, simply stocking up on easily obtainable aids like RadX and RadAway are more than enough to cast any nuclear concerns aside. And that’s a shame if you ask me. This is my attempt to bring radiation into a centerpiece of the Fallout world. I present: 


    The Glowing One has a genetic mutation that both enhances and accelerates the effects of radiation exposure. Being quarantined in the Vault 111 cryopod protected him for years, but upon visiting the Wasteland, his genes immediately began soaking up the rads. At first, they made him sick…then they made him strong. Rapidly, he became The Glowing One!

    Special: Starting & (Build Finished)

    S – 1 (Mass Fusion Bobblehead, +1 Investment)
    P – 4 (Concord Bobblehead)
    E – 8 (special book for Ghoulish and Poseidon Energy Bobblehead for Solar Powered)
    C – 3 
    I – 9
    A – 1
    L – 2 (Spectacle Island Bobblehead)

    Condensing perks into two main columns, Endurance and Intelligence offers a unique build experience. Squeezing enough into Perception to open up demolitions expert and Charisma to use Lone Wanderer round out the major skills. Side note, with such high endurance you'll notice a hefty ability to sprint and carry things.

    Appearance – pale, bald, ragged looking male. For immersion, you could start looking normal and make a face change with Dr. Sun right around the time you start eating dead humans for energy and swap into rags. 

    Apparel Part 1– Army Fatigues (+1 Strength & Agility), Leather or Combat (best available), Destroyer’s Chest Piece (15% less damage from humans), Protector’s Left Armguard (15% less damage from humans). Wrap around goggles, military hat or helmet. Just make sure not to take anything with Rad Resist. 

    Apparel Part 2 – As you descend deeper into character (and madness), the only clothing fitting for a Ghoul is Tattered Rags or Hooded Rags. Luckily, either can be lined with Ballistic Weave for survivability. Tinker Tom will actually sell a set of armored rags on rotation. Note, further defense requires a modest investment in Strength and Armorer later on.

    Apparel Part 3 - Final Radiation madness sets in as you don Atom's Robes of the Devotee. 

    Weapons – Lorenzo’s Artifact, Irradiated Rifle or best available sniper rifle, best available shotgun.



    Ghoulish – honestly, on its own it’s not a great perk, especially the first rank. You’ll barely notice the effect. But hang with it! It’s essential to the RP and it gets better. We’re making a serious commitment to Endurance, and making good use of it by pairing this perk with…

    Solar Powered – Planning your adventures during the day means you’ll heal off any accumulated rads…while the Ghoulish perk regenerates your health with exposure to rads…see what we did there!?  Much like  Ghoulish rank 1, solar powered starts off a little shoulder shrugging with just a +2 boost to endurance and strength. But, ranks 2 (sun eliminates rads) and 3 (sun regenerates health) round out the overall effect nicely.

    Rifleman – shotgun and rifles are your best early game options. Later, you'll enjoy these gamma round sparing options and use them to scout (rifle) or finish off crippled foes.

    – You’ve really come to despise humans. What better way to come full circle than refueling on their fresh corpses? While feasting on your friends (rank 2) doesn't sit right, the bumped up health recovery of rank 3 makes sense later in the game. Note: cannot be used in Power Armor.

    Demolitions Expert – primarily taken to boost the AOE damage to Lorenzo’s Artifact, but grenades become extremely effective as well.

    Nuclear Physicist – Boosts the efficacy of Radiation Weaponry.

    Science – Mostly for modding the Artifact and other gamma guns.

    Medic – although healing can be accomplished in many ways, medic is taken here to boost the effect of (Rad Away + Ghoulish). 

    Life Giver - With the focus on health regeneration, it made sense to take the third perk here. (Credit Mason).

    Scrounger – as you intend to use Gamma Rounds, and they are not easily obtained, we take this perk to both get more when we find them, and bank more ammo to barter with at vendors. Get Gamma Rounds as often as possible. By the end, I was only using the gamma rounds, .50 cals and shotgun shells with an occasional .10mm. Everything else – sell!

    Lone Wanderer – such a great perk to improve damage and defense, especially for a lone wandering ghoul like yourself.

    Bloody Mess – some bonus damage and adds to the overall disgusting nature of the build.

    Locksmith - only because you sort of "have to" in my opinion.

    General RP Notes and Getting Started: 

    You’re a ghoul, act like one. I set up shop at Red Rocket to be isolated. You’re not here to make friends. You’ve lost all faith in humanity. You identify with Super Mutants and Ghouls, and try to avoid killing them as much as possible. As such, you’re not a fan of the BOS. I tried to shy away from cities, opting for traders in more remote places (Goodneighbor being the exception…since they openly accept your kind.) 

    As for followers, I took Dogmeat early for the extra carry capacity, but opted to fly solo most of the play through to benefit from the Lone Wanderer perk. If you really want a follower – Hancock is your guy for access to the fitting “isopoded” perk which can be exploited and expedited by fast traveling in your underwear. 

    Getting into Cabot House is a priority. At level 10, head to the Parson Insane Asylum and take out the guards, then go to Bunker Hill where Deegan will spawn. Follow this quest line and make sure to choose the path that allows you to keep the Artifact. You’ll only get access to a handful of Mysterious Serum doses this way, but the gun is worth it. If you really want to exploit the serum, the Dogmeat duplication exploit works, although it’s a bit finicky after patch 1.3.

    Your initial motivation to keep trudging around the wasteland is to find a cure to your predicament. You assume your son is dead along with your wife and aren’t interested in knowing much more. As for the main story line, I basically avoided it as much as possible. I eventually went through enough of it to investigate Virgil’s serum as a possible cure, but the rest of it seemed out of place for this character. Siding with the Railroad to take out the racist BOS and unethical experimenting Institute is the only option I’d recommend, if you feel compelled. But stay a "tourist" as much as possible. I just can't see him really buying into any of the faction ideologies. This is a good build if you're tired of the main story, and enjoy exploring.

    Other notable ghoulish and irradiated RP Options:

    • If you're bent on using power armor, the Cambridge Polymer Labs side quest makes for pretty good RP with a suitable reward
    • Kingsport Lighthouse is worth a mention as a possible hideout. One of your lesser sentient kinsman is up in the lighthouse...
    • Children of Atom interactions - maybe they'll worship you? (Crater of Atom, Crater House, Etc)
    • Glowing Sea wandering
    • Hunt Raiders and Gunners
    • Make Friends With Pickman
    • Hang out at the Slog
    • Trade with Daisy in Goodneighbor 

    RP Rules (optional): 

    In order to “feel” the irradiated effect of the Wasteland on our character we’ll want to create the world by setting some rules.

    1. Not allowed to carry more than 1 RadAway, 1 RadX at any time after taking Ghoulish and Solar Powered rank 1. 

    2. Heal with food as much as possible. You benefit from eating irradiated food from the Ghoulish perk anyway. Plus, you can sell your stimpaks for gamma rounds. Head just SW of your Red Rocket outpost to Sunshine Tidings Co-Op for the wasteland survival guide that yields two for one meat harvesting.

    3. When exploring the Glowing Sea, use a Mysterious Serum instead of power armor. Now that’s fun!

    4. No attacking Super Mutants or Ghouls, unless provoked or no other choice.

    5. Always attack BoS during radiant encounters.

    Weapon and Combat Tactics:

    Lorenzo’s Artifact is boosted by Demolitions Expert (explosive damage) and Nuclear Physicist (radiation damage). The best option for modding is at Science level 3 with the Electrical Signal Antenna, which adds electrical damage to the existing damages.

    Regardless, the base weapon will absolutely annihilate humans on normal game settings with the chosen perks (see video!). Wrecking Raiders and Gunners like a boss! Bump the difficulty up and you’ll be reliving the good ol’ Fus Ro Dah days. The stagger effect and range this gun yields can be quite potent. My chosen tactic for most encounters was to scout with a scoped rifle and thin out the herd. Then use the Artifact to weaken, stagger and knock down stronger enemies from distance before switching to the shotgun for finishing purposes. I had the good fortune of obtaining a “staggering” double barrel early on and a fully modded combat boomstick later. 

    For everything you ever wanted or didn’t want to know about Lorenzo’s Artifact – please enjoy some light reading over at Reddit. 

    Don’t forget, you’re boosting demolitions expert, as such your grenades do monstrous amounts of carnage. For example, my bottle-cap mines were hitting for 691 damage and regular old frags for 346 a pop. Boom!


    Closing Notes:

    Thanks for reading! 

  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    Can someone tell me why my Youtube embed code is blank? Thanks!

  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    The video where you've gone around a killed a bunch of gunners? It's working for me.

  • Member
    February 19, 2016
    Oh snap there it is! It wasn't showing on my browser ha.
  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    I really like this one Motty!

    I think some of your perk options could be more solid though, why not max out on life giver so you can stack it with SP for great regeneration? You're already heavy into the RP here so I'd have gone full into Cannibal as well!

    Did you really need any points in scrapper just for a couple of guns? Did you really need 3 perks in Science? I didn't think there was that many mods available to the Gamma Gun. Clearing a child of atom camp at higher levels would probably provide you with a fully upgraded one...

    "At first, they made him sick…then they made him strong. Rapidly, he became The Glowing One!" - Love it...

    ...I really do! But I'd love to see a refined/elite perk spread for this guy! The kind you'd probably use after another playthrough or two...


  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    Awesome work Motty, also, Lone Wanderer works with Dogmeat

  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    I think those are good points. On science 3, I figured I was already invested in Int...so why not? And to be honest, I've yet to find an Electrical Signal Antenna...But I see your point.

    I prob would add more into Life Giver... scrapper is not necessary. 

    After reading the level 3 cannibal - yes, I agree. I didn't take it initially bc of my affinity for ghouls and super mutants. But the additional bonus is worth it for sure.

    I'm still figuring out all of these Perks...so I really appreciate the feedback! I'll keep playing with it and refine the perks.

  • Member
    February 19, 2016

    yeah I know...I just didn't want a companion on this one.

    Thanks bud!

  • Member
    February 20, 2016
    Nice work Motty This is different to the regular fare, and I like 'different' +1
  • Member
    February 20, 2016
    Very much appreciate that Paul!